The Kings Of Teke





    The Aegean region, vast and endlessly covered in olive trees and thickly wooded mountains, is at the heart of Turkish culture. The music of this region is as powerful and all encompassing as the environment; fiery, soaring and intensely emotional, it will carry you to the fields where ancient gods roamed……
    The Teke (meaning Billy goat)  region of Turkey constitutes the south-west mountainous areas of Anatolia and dates back to around 1000 AD. The music of this region is characterised by fast 9 beat rhythms, and is played on instruments such as Kaba Zurna, Kabak Kemane, Sipsi, Cura and Davul.
    The Kings Of Teke was formed by Dursun Girgin, master zurna player, who comes from a long lineage of gypsy musicians who settled in the Aegean region of Turkey some few hundred years ago after arriving through Syria.
    Dursun, who is hailed as “…one of the unknown heroes of traditional Turkish music…”, has also been a revolutionary educator and preserver of the traditional music. Over the years the Turkish government radio and television institution TRT, has used him as a source to categorically record traditional regional songs which, aside from Dursun are otherwise no longer known. He was recently nominated as a UNESCO Living Human Treasure.
    The line-up and style of The Kings Of Teke is unique even in the tradition of davul zurna bands. Usually they consist of one or two drums and two zurnas (drone and solo). The richly textured harmonies and arrangements played by The Kings Of Teke are of a style unique to these musicians. Whilst they remain true to the traditional melodies they are master improvisers and bring new life to the music. The band is led by Dursun’s son, Veysel, himself a master zurna player.
    More of Dursun’s sons and grandsons, along with other relatives who make up The Kings Of Teke, all hail from the same village, Dibekdere, Milas. Though this group has been performing professionally for over fifteen years, they are an unbroken line of musicians dating back centuries.
    The Kings Of Teke is a twelve piece ensemble- 6 zurnas and 6 davuls. Their show is highlighted with spectacular dancing from some of the band members.